Birdwatching in Costa Rica
Great Green Macaw, Maquenque Lodge  
Fiery-throated hummingbird, Poas volcano area  
Resplendant Quetzal  
Keel-billed Toucan  
Summer tanager  
Violet crowned woodnymph  
Scarlet macaw  
Black-cheeked woodpecker  
Rufous Motmot  
13 day tour
Including flights
Prices from
£3510

Tour Highlights

  • Spot Resplendent Quetzal and Great Green Macaw
  • Explore San Gerardo de Dota mountains
  • Visit tropical lowlands on the Nicaragua border
  • Explore Maquenque Nature Reserve
I'm enquiring about: Birdwatching in Costa Rica

Rainbow Tours takes your privacy very seriously and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Policy so you can understand how we collect and use your personal data. https://www.rainbowtours.co.uk/content/privacy/
I'm enquiring about: Birdwatching in Costa Rica

Birdwatching in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica in Central America is home to one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. This small country delivers unparalleled opportunities for wildlife and bird watching, with more than 900 different species spread over 27% of protected land. Travel during the migration periods to find higher numbers of resident and migratory species. The autumn migrations from North America to South America continue from August through to December and the winter migration northbound stretches from January to May.

This 12- night tour takes in a diverse range of environments; experience the pristine nature of Costa Rica from the crisp mountain air of San Gerardo de Dota to the lush tropical forest in the northern lowlands near the Nicaragua border. The cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota is a popular area to spot the national bird of Costa Rica, the Resplendent Quetzal, with its characteristically long, iridescent-green tail.

Spot a host of endemics such as the White-throated Mountain Gem hummingbird, the Collared Redstart, the Volcano Hummingbird and the Black-cheeked Warbler. In complete contrast, Sarapiqui is hot and humid with dense trails, a protected area of great importance. Some of the stunning tropical species can be sighted include bright and charismatic Keel-billed Toucans, Great Green Macaws, Wood Thrushes, Grey-necked Woodrails, Sun Bitterns and Violet-crowned Woodnymphs. This bird-watching holiday finishes in the remote area of Boca Tapada, where you'll search for the endangered Great green macaw in the Maquenque eco preserve.

With such a diverse range of habitats within a small area, Costa Rica is truly a birdwatchers paradise.

Read more about this tour


Day 1
Day 1
London - San Jose
Take a daytime flight to San Jose and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel on arrival (approximately 30 minute transfer). Stay for a night in the area of Santo Domingo de Heredia, bursting with rural charm, colonial adobe houses and beautiful churches. The Bougainvillea Hotel is set within 10 acres of lush tropical gardens teeming with trees, plants, colourful flowers and bushes where many birds like to congregate. You may see hummingbirds, Blue-crowned Motmots, Palm Tanagers, Tropical Kingbirds and Boat-billed Flycatchers.
 
Opt to spend an extra night here to include visits to places such as Poas Volcano, Barva Volcano and the mountains of La Carpintera.
Accommodation: Bougainvillea Hotel
         
Day 2
Day 2
San Jose - San Gerardo de Dota
Explore the country by car; hiring a Hyundai Tucson 4x2 (or similar) allows you complete freedom. Located just 85km southwest of San Jose and approximately a 3 hour drive is San Gerardo de Dota on the western slopes of the Cerro de La Muerte. Just a short drive from the Inter-American Highway, it is a stunning habitat for a diverse range of bird and flora species and the primary habitat for the stunning resplendent Quetzal. San Gerardo de Dota is located at an altitude of 2200 metres an area of crisp mountain air, lush cloud forest and excellent birding opportunities.
Accommodation: Savegre Lodge
           
Day 3
Day 3
San Gerardo de Dota
Wake up to morning birdsong; the dawn chorus announces the start of an unforgettable day in the cloud forest. With your local guide from Savegre Lodge, spend half a day exploring the reserve. The bird list at Hotel Savegre includes more than 170 species, some of which are endemic to the region. Mornings, just after dawn, the best time for spotting birdlife here. Possible sightings include the Resplendent Quetzal and endemics such as the White-throated Mountain Gem, Collared Redstart, Volcano Hummingbird and the Black-cheeked Warbler.
Day 4
Day 4
San Gerardo de Dota - Turrialba
The Turrialba Valley, within the Cordillera Talamanca is approximately a 3 hour drive from San Gerardo de Dota. Rains throughout the year create a lush, green landscape of primary forest, biological corridors, reforested areas and plantations of coffee, macadamia and sugar cane. This rich agricultural area demonstrates the balance between modern development and nature conservation. The regions around Rancho Naturalista are a magnet to many resident and migratory birds and within this diverse habitats over 430 species have been recorded .
Accommodation: Rancho Naturalista
             
Day 5
Day 5
Turrialba - Rancho Naturalista
Morning birding tour with the hotels local guide exploring the private reserve. Many species are high on the ‘wanted’ list of birders and also falls into Endemic Bird Area of ‘Central American Caribbean Foothills and Lowlands’. Some common residents in the region are the Grey-headed Chachalaca, the White-crowned Parrot, the White-necked Jacobin, the Blue-crowned Motmot, the Collared Aracari, the Keel-billed Toucan, the White-collared Manakin, the Passerini’s Tanager and the Golden-hooded Tanager.
Day 6
Day 6
Turrialba - Selva Bananito
After a 3.5 hour drive, the last few kilometres towards Sela Bananito are impassable by car and the transfer is provided by the lodge. This private reserve is an important buffer zone and transition zone and has achieved worldwide recognition for its efforts in nature conservation. A very peaceful environment, in tune with the surroundings, Selva Bananito Ecolodge is a very comfortable family-run establishment. With no electricity the lodge employs solar energy and biodegradeable products.
Accommodation: Selva Bananito
       
Day 7
Day 7
Selva Bananito
Embark on a morning bird watching tour at the lodge along with short natural history hike. Led by knowledgeable ornithologists scour the primary forest for toucans, orioles, trogons, kingfishers, and many more of the 300 species which have been identified in the area. You can also choose from one of the following tours – rainforest tour, introductory tree-climbing or horse ride through the farm. Guide your horse to La Cristalina and into the primary forest, gallop across open fields and through challenging hills and descents to a specialised riding trail.
Day 8
Day 8
Selva Bananito - Sarapiqui
Drive for approximately 4 hours to Sarapiqui, a hot humid area featuring a dense networks of trails in a biologically rich territory. This protected area is of great importance for the conservation of birds, butterflies, insects and plants. Selva Verde Lodge is the perfect spot for immersing in nature combined with adventure. The private reserve protects more than 500 acres of primary and secondary rainforest and the lodge founded the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Centre that promotes interaction between the locals, volunteers and guests.
Accommodation: Selva Verde Lodge
     
Day 9
Day 9
Sarapiqui
Morning is the most active time for birds so grab your binoculars and venture out for a walk in the lodge grounds. Some of the stunning tropical species that have been sighted include Keel-billed Toucans, Wood Thrushes, Grey-necked Wood Rails, Sun bitterns and Violet Crowned Woodnymphs. Guides have a keen eye for local wildlife and often spot birds you might notice. Another recommended spot is the Nature Pavillion, an open air covered area offering outstanding observation and photography opportunities in all weathers.
Day 10
Day 10
Sarapiqui - Boca Tapada
Drivefor approximately 3.5 hours towards the Northern Lowlands, near the mouth of the San Carlos river which forms a natural border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Boca Tapada is a remote area, off the beaten track and home to a rich biodiversity of plants and animals. It is most famous as one of the few remaining nesting sites of the endangered Great Green macaw. Maquenque Lodge is located within the 60 hectare Maquenque Eco Preserve of tropical forest with bungalows overlooking the river.
Accommodation: Maquenque Lodge
           
Day 11
Day 11
Boca Tapada
Boca Tapada has over 410 bird species including some migratory species. As well as the endangered Great Green Macaw look out for the Scarlet Macaw, toucans, oropendolas, honeycreepers, tanagers euphonias and jacamars. The morning tour starts at 530am, as dawn breaks, and the birds are most active. Start in the gardnes and lagoons until there is enough day light to start walking into the forest. Other activities available include horse riding, kayaking on the San Carlos River and planting trees.
Day 12
Day 12
Boca Tapada - San Jose
Take another opportunity to explore the area in the morning as dawn breaks and the wildlife awakens. Depart this remote lodge for the return drive to San Jose which takes approximately 3.5 hours. Break up the return drive with a stop at Poas Volcano to admire the sapphire-blue lake ringed by high-altitude forest. Wander the well marked trails and look out for the magnificent fiery-throated hummingbird, a high altitude speciality of Costa Rica. Close to the volcano is La Paz Waterfall Gardens, with its scenic trails, butterfly conservatory, aviary and hummingbird garden. Return to Hotel Bougainvillea for your final evening.
Accommodation: Bougainvillea Hotel
         
Day 13
Day 13
San Jose - London
Private transfer (approximately 30 minutes) to the airport for your return flight. There are a host of other wildlife and birding experiences possibilities in Costa Rica, such as the wonderfully remote Osa Peninula in the south of the country. Please ask us for details.

Pricing Information & Dates

13 day tour, from £3510 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Carhire

Tour Route Map

  1.   Savegre Valley
  2.   San Jose, Central Valley & Central Highlands

Accommodation on this Tour

Bougainvillea Hotel
Bougainvillea Hotel
San Jose, Central Valley & Central Highlands, Costa Rica
Bougainvillea Hotel Surrounded by 10 acres of lush tropical gardens, Hotel Bougainvillea is just 30 minutes from San Jose airport yet located in a charming, peaceful area called Santo Domingo de......
         
Maquenque Lodge
Maquenque Lodge
Arenal & the North, Costa Rica
Maquenque Lodge Maquenque Lodge is located within the 60-hectares Maquenque Eco Preserve in Boca Tapada in the north of Costa Rica and close to the border with Nicaragua. The lodge has 14 spacious......
           
Rancho Naturalista
Rancho Naturalista
San Jose, Central Valley & Central Highlands, Costa Rica
Rancho Naturalista Rancho Naturalista is set at an altitude of between 2528 and 3850ft (766 and 1167m) on the Caribbean slopes of the Talamanca Mountains and is a wonderful destination for bird......
             
Selva Verde Lodge
Selva Verde Lodge
San Jose, Central Valley & Central Highlands, Costa Rica
Selva Verde Lodge The Selva Verde eco lodge is located very close to the lowlands in the north east of Costa Rica, the area of Sarapaqui. The actual private reserve of Selva Verde Rainforest protects......
     

Image Gallery

Call our experts now 0203 131 4707
Send An Enquiry Fill out our online enquiry form Request Callback Enter a time for us to call you Send An Enquiry Fill out our online enquiry form Request Callback Enter a time for us to call you
Calling from one of the countries below?
If so use the toll-free number listed.
USA611 3001 4894
Australia184 4332 5169
New Zealand184 4332 5137
Our site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. We also use cookies to show you advertising that is relevant to you. By continuing to use our site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.